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A Blog by Lunebase
Feel Good Story

Tweet reconnects family with Bristol nurses who saved girl’s life

We’re often told that social media is making us more divisive, more prone to outrage, more unhappy. It’s easy to forget that through the thickets of arguments an annoyances, social media is ultimately a tool for people to connect with each other. And sometimes, a story comes through that shows the best qualities of social media in all their glory.

Martin Dorey dropped his daughter Maggie off at University for the first time in September – an emotional moment for any parent. However, Maggie’s arrival to her halls in Bristol was especially poignant, as the window overlooked a children’s hospital where she had spent 6 months from birth fighting through leukemia.

After tweeting a picture of Maggie’s arrival, Martin saw a deluge of emotional responses – including one from Charlotte Higby, a nurse who saved Maggie after she went into anaphylactic shock due to her chemotherapy treatment all those years ago.

The touching conversation became even more emotional when Martin revealed that he named his second daughter, Charlotte, after the very same nurse.

I’m not crying, you are…

Though the initial replies to the conversation have been hidden to preserve nurse Charlotte’s privacy, you can read the full story here.

Since the tweet’s popularity, Martin has asked those interested to donate to various charities that aid children with cancer. If you’re interested, you can do so here.

Spotlight

Learning through gaming

Here’s a fact to impress your friends: The gaming industry is worth more than the music and film industries combined. Current computer games bring immersive, engaging and complex storylines along with powerful social experiences all in glorious high definition, a far cry from clunky 2D gameplay days of yore.

But how can we use these technologies, and more importantly the principles of gaming, to learn and develop? Well, human beings are hard-wired to learn through play. Think back to your childhood – from dress-up to Monopoly, some of the most powerful learning experiences come through games.

You might have heard the term ‘gamifying’ applied to all manner of industries and platforms; its central ideas, built on philosophies of play, are simple:

  • It’s all about the story. A good narrative stimulates the creative side for the player.
  • Continuous feedback. Let players know how they’re doing. Encouragement goes a long way.
  • Reward learners often. This keeps them enticed, and more likely to keep playing.
  • Aesthetics matter. The more immersed a player is, the more likely they’ll invest themselves.
  • “Gotta catch ’em all!” Let learners unlock badges, new levels or tools to help them on their journey.
  • Gradually add complexity to keep things interesting. A feedback loop keeps things fresh while also giving a sense of progression.

Psychologists have studied the many types of human learning in depth. They found that gamified learning has distinct benefits:

  1. Gamification lessens students’ fear of failure – failure is integral to learning, but in the classroom it can be a source of shame. Gamification is proven to encourage failure and reattempt learning, without embarrassment.
  2. Gamification makes learning visible – allowing players to stay orientated to their progress and goals.
  3. Gamification increases motivation – bringing focus on a sense of achievement, social interaction and deep immersion.
  4. Games are familiar – unless you’re Tom Hanks in Castaway, we’ve all probably played some sort of digital game.
  5. Gamification can make learning a personal experience – allows learners to take a sense of pride, ownership and identity over their development.

So when you’re next considering how to best tackle a complex task, develop a new set of skills, or even get into teacher mode, why not think about how you might gamify your approach?

PS: At Lunebase, we’re using the principles of gamified learning in our plug-and-play digital campaigns for teams. The learning experiences promote competition, remote social interaction and increase with engagement with a slice of fun on the side. Want to learn more? We’re but an email away!

Feel Good Story

17 year-old blind athlete and TikTok star takes Paralympic swimming gold

Sometimes your hobbies can take you far further than you might expect them to.

Anastasia Pagonis is a prime example of how commitment to a leisure activity can take you to incredible new heights, even while overcoming adversity. Though her eyesight started to diminish around age 11, Pagonis continued with her passion of swimming.

At first, she struggled to maintain her usual form, sometimes “struggling to make it across the pool without bumping into a lane”. However, Pagonis maintained a consistent schedule, and by connecting with her coach, Marc Danin, she was able to overcome not only her own hardship, but her competitors.

In fact, Pagonis recently made history at the Paralympics by setting a new world record in the S11 400-meter freestyle at 4 minutes and 54.49 seconds, a full 10 seconds ahead of the second-fastest swimmer.

Equally impressive is the other side of Anastasia’s fame. Before attending the 2021 Paralympics, she was already well known to millions as a TikTok star, answering often mundane questions around her physical disability.

While you may not fancy yourself as a TikTok celebrity, there’s a lot to be said for following your passions through – you never know where they might lead you!

Wellbeing Champions Newsletter

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Spotlight

Finding happiness in hobbies

The past month at Lunebase HQ has brought with it a new hobby for one of our founders, Aaron. Keen to prove to his young sons that he’s still as young and hip as ever, Aaron’s been tearing up the streets on his new surfskate (actual footage of Aaron in action 👀).

What is a surfskate you might ask? Simply put, a surfskate is a skateboard for surfing the street. Surfskates use special trucks that enable riders to mimic the feel and flow of a surfboard.

Many of us would call leisure time one of the most important for our wellbeing. It gives us time to focus on something we enjoy, so that we can relax, refresh and recharge.

But what is it about taking up a hobby that makes it so exciting and beneficial?

The benefits of hobbies are well studied, and include:

  • Better physical health. People who scored higher on the enjoyable activities test had lower body mass index, smaller waists, lower blood pressure, lower stress  hormones and better overall physical function.
  • More sleep. While you may think that a hobby will take up too much of your leisure time or cut into your sleep, it’s proven to be the opposite, aiding in more positive and restful sleep.
  • Lower stress. Try crochet to cut the cortisol.
  • Happiness. People who often participate in activities they enjoy tend to have greater life satisfaction, and feel their lives have a greater sense of purpose and meaning.
  • More friends. Spending more time on hobbies and leisure pursuits was associated with having a larger and more diverse social network.

Creative outlets outside of work also make for improved performance in your day job. A study of 430 workers found that having a hobby gave workers a chance to recover from the demands of their jobs, increase their sense of control, and become better at creative problem-solving while working.

(Our tip: Don’t pick a hobby just because it will help you at work! Pick a hobby that makes you happy, any other improvements will be just a bonus.)

When was the last time you tried a new hobby? How about a surfskate?

Wellbeing Champions Newsletter

Monthly collection of news, wellbeing updates, lifestyle tips, and feel-good stories - delivered right to your inbox every third Thursday.

☕ Five-minute round-up. 🤐 No-spam ever. 👋 Unsubscribe at any time.
Privacy policy for the fellow GDPR nerds 🤓

Spotlight

Five top tips for living green

There’s no debate about human-induced emissions of greenhouse gases being the biggest driver behind climate change. Recently, climate change has again made the headlines in the wake of a newly-published UN report on global warming, which some environmental experts have dubbed “our final wake-up call”.

This fresh press has got us thinking… 🤔

The science is clear. Earth surface temperatures are rising, and extreme weather phenomenon are either increasingly likely or already happening. We’re concerned. Here at Lunebase, we’re proud to be fully powered by renewable energy. And while we understand that the actions of the few outweigh those of the many – Oxfam reports that the world’s richest 10% cause double the CO2 emissions of the poorest 50% – we also recognise that every individual has their part to play in helping the planet, and collective action is the only way forward.

But what does the science say are the best steps we can take to reduce our carbon footprint?

First, let’s look at the numbers. On average, the UK contributes 12.7 tonnes of carbon dioxide (equivalent) to the atmosphere, per person, per year.

And if we break that down in terms of the impact of daily activities, we can see how individual adjustments can, collectively, make a huge impact (thanks BBC):

Read on for our take-home top tips for reducing your carbon footprint:

  1. Avoid the car wherever possible, or trade it in for a shiny new Tesla.
  2. Try to adopt a plant-based diet, or where possible, reduce your consumption of meat and dairy.
  3. Long-haul flights should be the exception, not the norm. If travelling to the continent, try the Eurostar!
  4. How well insulated is your loft? Not only will this one benefit your carbon footprint, but we all enjoy shaving a few pounds off the heating bills.
  5. Speaking of which, how about replacing your gas boiler with an electric heat pump? They’re set to be a key part of the UK government’s plan to make UK homes greener over the next decade.

Wellbeing Champions Newsletter

Monthly collection of news, wellbeing updates, lifestyle tips, and feel-good stories - delivered right to your inbox every third Thursday.

☕ Five-minute round-up. 🤐 No-spam ever. 👋 Unsubscribe at any time.
Privacy policy for the fellow GDPR nerds 🤓

Feel Good Story

10 year-old diagnosed with rare eye disease that left him blind is now training for England

Mikey Poulli has been a football fan for as long as he can remember. He cheered for Arsenal from the stands played for his local club from the age of 5, with dreams of becoming a professional footballer.

This all turned upside down for Mikey after a routine eye test at age 6 revealed he had ‘Rod Cone Dystrophy’, a very rare, incurable eye disease that in most cases eventually leads to blindness.

By the end of the next season, Mikey’s vision had deteriorated to the extent that he was officially legally blind.

But despite the devastation for Mikey and his family, he was not deterred. Mikey attended sessions for Visually Impaired Football, where the specialist coaches immediately recognised his talent.

Mikey now trains with England, and videos of his incredible talent have gone viral online. His achievements are proof that adversity in any form can be overcome!

We’re looking forward to the day we can see Mikey help it coming home… ⚽